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By otakuman5000 On 21 Jun, 2012 At 01:45 AM | Categorized As Previews, Reviews, TableTop Gaming | With 0 Comments

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 Welcome once again you mystical, magical, maniacs to another article from Cards n’Flux where we talk fun, awesome strategy for the game of Magic the Gathering.  With Planechase 2012 just hitting the shelves, we already have a number of fun spoilers for this year’s Core Set, Magic 2013.  We have confirmed not only the return of Vampire Nocturnus, Captain of the Watch, and Clone, but we also have the reprinting of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker arguably the most powerful ever printed that was not utterly broken.  Along with Magic 2013, Wizards is also shipping their newest version of Duels of the Planeswalkers which will use 2013 cards.  In fact, when people download Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, players will have the opportunity to go to a nearby store and get a free promo card.  The promo cards are Serra Avatar for Steam/iPad, Primordial Hydra for Xbox 360, and Vampire Nocturnus for PS3.  Looking at these promo cards, it almost seems unfair.  Serra Avatar has potential to see real play in Commander decks as it’s power and toughness are equal to your life total, Vampire Nocturnus (at time of writing) is worth $20, while Primordial Hydra… is a dinky $4 and has never seen constructed play.  Well, why don’t we take this article to make this often overlooked card into a prime power house?

 

 

First up, why exactly is Primordial Hydra so often put down and ignored as a possible big Green All-Star?  The simple answer is that it takes far too long for it to get going.  If you play the Hydra on turn three it will be a 1/1.  Next turn it becomes a 2/2, next turn 4/4, next turn 8/8, next turn 16/16.  So after five turns of waiting, Primordial Hydra finally becomes a big enough threat for it’s final ability to give it trample.  The worst is, during that time Primordial Hydra is just a big target.  With no protection like hexproof or shroud, we are one Doom Blade, Unsummon, or Oblivion Ring from losing all the mana we put into it.  If we could just find a way to protect our Hydra to the later turns, then maybe it might become of Green’s biggest hitters.

 

 

One great way to protect any creature these days is through the ability hexproof, which prevents our opponents from targeting our creatures with their annoying spot removal.  Currently, Green has two cards that we could use to give our big Hydra the instant protection it needs to stay on the field.  First up is Ranger’s Guile a one mana instant that not only boosts our hydra by +1/+1, but also gives it hexproof.  This is definitely our ideal card for protecting our Hydra, but we need more.  Thankfully there is more.  Sheltering Word out of Avacyn Restored is another instant speed hexproof card we can use to protect our Hydra with the added bonus of giving us a life boost.  Imagine this card when our opponent targets our 16/16 Hydra.  We could dash all our opponent’s hopes with one card.  However, two cards even at full play set are just not good enough.  This is why we need to run at least three Swiftfoot boots.  On turn two we can play this pair of nice shoes, then around turn four we can play Hydra and equip so that we do not have to always have an answer in our hands to deal with what our opponent might throw at us.  On top of all this, if we include one or two Asceticism, we should have enough to protect our big guys from the slings and bolts of our opponents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alongside our Hydra, we will need some other big Green swingers and some support creatures because one card does not make a deck.  For support we have got to have our trusty Llanowar Elves or Birds of Paradise and we could easily use a full playset of Borderland Rangers.  These three should give us some nice mana acceleration.  Now we move to some big hitters.  Unfortunately we might not have this guy around for much longer, but Dungrove Elder is arguably one of Green’s best cards in a while.  With every forest we play, Dungrove Elder just keeps getting bigger and with hexproof the only way for our opponent to deal with him is a sweeper like Day of Judgment.  Good news is we are only a few Green cards in and we already have some great Green fatties to almost replace Dungrove.  First up we have Elderscale Wurm a wurm who loves sevens.  For Seven mana you get a 7/7 with trample that when he enters the battlefield if your life total is less than 7 it becomes 7 and from then on if you would take damage that would reduce your life total to less than 7, it does not.  Basically, it is Green’s version of Platnium Angel, as along as Elderscale is on the field you cannot die, meaning another great target for our Hexproof package.  Another fun creature to come out of 2013 is Thragtusk a 5/3 for five mana that is sure to see play.  Now, you’re probably thinking why will a 5/3 see play, it’ll die to the first decent burn spell it sees.  That’s true, but when a 5/3 gives you 5 life when it hits the field and when it dies gives you a 3/3 beast token, then it is pretty easy to see why it will see play.

 

We still need to fill out the deck a little more.  One card we definitely want in the deck to help out our Primordial Hydra is Increasing Savagery.  With four mana we can jump our little one headed hydra into the big swingers by adding five +1/+1 counters.  The power of this card is amazing as it can turn even our little Llanowar Elves into a 6/6, plus with flashback we drop another 10 counters onto something else.  Another card I personally like is a card that might very well see play after the Titans leave standard, Soul of the Harvest.  With the same stats as Primeval Titan, what Soul of the Harvest gives us is card draw whenever a nontoken creature enters the battlefield under our control.  Sure, we might not have as many creatures as we would like to abuse this power with, but a 6/6 Trampler can always find a way to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From here we can add in or subtract whatever we want to make the deck fit our desire.  If you want to have a few support creatures in front helping to buy time for when we drop our hyrda then Elvish Visionary to draw cards and Deadly Recluse to kill or dissuade all attackers would be some great choices.  If you do not want to be limited to just one big bomb or want some real problem creatures then you will find nothing better than Strangleroot Geist and Vorapede.  Either way, here is a basic list of what could make Primordial Hydra quite a force to be remembered:

 

Growing Strength:

 

Creatures:

3x Llanowar Elves

3x Birds of Paradise

3x Borderland Ranger

3x Primordial Hydra

3x Dungrove Elder

4x Thragtusk

2x Soul of the Harvest

1x Elderscale Wurm

 

Spells:

4x Ranger’s Guile

4x Sheltering Word

3x Increasing Savagery

1x Asceticism

 

Land:

23x Forest

 

Artifacts:

3x Swiftfoot Boots

 

This deck list runs fewer playsets than I usually like to run, but it gives us what we need.  If we get a Primordial Hydra on the field we can certainly protect it pretty well.  Plus, if we do end up losing our Hydra, we will have a fair amount of good creatures to swing in with.  If you want a more aggressive form of this deck, my suggestion would be to drop the Elderscale Wurm, the Birds of Paradise, and one Thragtusk so you can run two Vorapedes and four Strangleroot Geists.  If you want a longer lasting deck, then card draw through Elvish Visionary and lock down with Deadly Recluse at the cost of some Swiftfoot Boots and the Birds would probably be best.  Play around with the concept of this deck, I’m sure you’ll have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you all my happy readers for tuning in once again to this article series.  I always have a blast writing it and occasionally receiving messages about my articles just fills me with all kinds of joy.  Just remember, that even if everyone around you says a card you like is complete trash, just know there is always a way to make a deck where the card works.  And as you work out the perfect deck for your favorite, forgotten card just keep this phrase in the back of your mind, “Etherium is Limited.  Innovation is not.”  This is Corlando signing out.

By otakuman5000 On 11 Jul, 2011 At 11:32 PM | Categorized As Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Hello and welcome readers to another addition of Cards n’Flux. My name is Corlando and I am psyched for Magic the Gathering Core Set 2012. This week we saw the entire list of cards spoiled meaning my already pumping, deck-building brain went into overdrive. I cannot wait for this set to come out and let me show you all just a few of the reasons why.

First up this week I want to show all my readers probably one of the best lords ever printed. “Why is he so great?” is what I am sure you are all wondering. It is because he can go in any deck.

You guys see this? Three mana of any color, you get a 2/2 that boosts every creature of the chosen type by +1/+1, and it goes in any deck. How awesome is this? Those people in standard who want a Knight Deck, congrats you just got your second lord. Those people who want a 5th or 6th copy of Goblin Chieftain in their decks, here is a present for you from Wizards. I am just scared for those decks like Merfolk which already have several lords. This just gives them yet another booster to throw at their opponents. I can tell you I already have some pretty cool ideas for this card and I look forward to seeing what other people do with him.

The next card that we have this week is actually an uncommon. The card is Timely Reinforcements, a sorcery for two and white that gives you 6 life if you have less life than an opponent and three 1/1 soldiers if you control fewer creatures than your opponent.

Looking at this card I want to say it is good. It is not a Spectral Procession like what some people have been saying, but it still gives you three bodies and the added possibility of extra life. With cards like Honor of the Pure and True Conviction in play, this card can be amazing. However the problem is how do you put yourself in a position where your reinforcements do not arrive just in time to suppoer a corpse. One idea that has been thrown around is the use of Phyrexian mana to deal yourself damage and you basically wait for your opponent to summon a creature. This would not be a bad strategy, but the only real option for this would be Gitaxian Probe. With this card you can pay two life, look at your opponents hand to see how to proceed, then draw a card. If it does not look like your opponent will be summoning something any time soon, you can play one or two creatures and begin the beats. If he has something he will probably summon next turn, you can wait and prepare for your soldiers by playing some enchantment or summoning an artifact. I would love to see Timely Reinforcements actually see Standard play, but something tells me it just requires a little too much build around for it to reach that level.  However, I know I will be having fun with it in many of my casual decks.

With M12 all five colors are getting reprints of some seriously fun older cards. For example Blue is getting this guy back:

Now I have only been able to play with Djinn of Wishes once, but I am certain he is definitely amusing and flavorful. First he is a 4/4 flyer for a total of five mana which is definitely not bad mana to power ratio. However, his main power, the three wishes can easily be broken if you have the ability to alter your deck a bit. You can do this with Preordain, Foresee, or even Dead Reckoning, though that would be a slower option. I would suggest Jace, the Mind Sculptor, but he was banned… which I am so happy about.  One of the best things, he is Blue which has a majority of the good Proliferation spells.  I am not saying you will receive infinite wishes, but you can get pretty close.  Something tells me, this wish maker is going to a pretty fun guy.

The next card I want to look at is a fun card if you can it work. Here is Doubling Chant:

I really do like this card. I mean think about it in an elf deck, “Yes, I’ll tap my Elfish Archdruid, get six mana, and summon six completely new elves from my library.” That is a nice card for Elf decks… assuming a Slagstorm or Pyroclasm or a Day of Judgment does not flatten them afterwards. Yet, however awesome this sorcery might be, the fact is you need creatures on the field to really make it effective. Let us say that you are on your fifth turn and you finally have enough mana to play Doubling Chant next turn. Your opponent then plays one of the cards I mentioned above, killing off most of or all of your forces meaning that fun little card in your hand just became completely useless. The card is really unreliable meaning as much fun as it would be to summon a few more guys from your library for just six total mana, it will probably be rare you actually accomplish this or it is not just negated the next turn. However, I still find the card amusing and I am sure someone will make it work.

Actually, there is a card out there that would make Doubling Chant rather broken and that card is Warstorm Surge.

Think about this card as a more expensive, but better Electropotence. Instead of having to tack on an extra three mana whenever you summon a creature, now a creature just has to enter play under your control to make it a double threat. This will be a fun card in really any deck it can fit in, however being so expensive it really cannot be counted on as a win condition. It will be great in drafts as games tend to go longer than constructed duels yet I still want to find a way to build around this card. And as I said, Doubling Chant makes this broken. Imagine having a few cool creatures and Warstorm Surge on the field. Not only do you get to summon a few creatures, but you could even win the game without even swinging. There is potential in this card, I know there is. I wonder which one of you will unlock its power?

Our final card for this edition is a card I feel has the potential to be very good in EDH and possibly constructed:

This is a nice card. Stealing ten life away from an opponent is quite the bomb to play on most opponents. This will be a great card for those EDH decks that tend to lose a lot of life as they get their combos and strategies going. Granted, Exsanguinate might be a better option in multiplayer, stealing X life from everyone is incredibly powerful, but in one on one Sorin’s Vengeance might be the better call. On the constructed side, I can see people wanting to pull of the two card instant kill with Sorin Markov and Sorin’s Vengeance. Reduce them to ten life with Sorin, then steal ten with Vengeance, and good game dude. That is a nasty win condition for any Blue/Black Control or mono Black control deck. I do not want to say this combo will become a standard level strategy, at least not right now with the speed of Splinter Deceiver and Valakut, but I could see it becoming a threat maybe after October.

 

Well we are coming to the end folks which means it is time fro closing questions:

1. What would be your guess for how M12 will effect the general standard environment?

2. What is your opinion of Doubling Chant? Good? Bad? Worst rare in the set?

3. Is Timely Reinforcements too hard to build around? How would you make this card work?

Thank you everyone for stopping on by. Sorry for such a late posting, I have been a bit busy with important arrangements and requirements, but hopefully these will not interfere too much more in my work. Anyway, thank you again and keep this in mind as you look over the M12 spoiler list, “Etherium is Limited. Innovation is not.” This is Corlando signing out.